At ITV’s general election debate yesterday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was laughed at as he lied about his Party’s handling of its antisemitism crisis.
Asked about why Labour had become a “cesspit of antisemitism”, Mr Corbyn was met with ridicule from the audience as he insisted that antisemitism is “an absolute evil and scourge within our society”. He then appended his usual clarification that “racism in any form is a scourge in our society.”
The Labour leader then proceeded to claim: “I have taken action within my Party where anyone has committed any antisemitic acts or made any antisemitis statements. They are either suspended or expelled from the Party and we’ve investigated every single case. We do take this very very seriously indeed, because I do not want to live in a society where racism is rife. I understand and recognise the history – the desperate history – of the Jewish People in the twentieth century, which came about from an unrestriction [sic] of antisemitism in the 1920s. We’ve got to stand up against racism in any form in our society.”
However, despite Mr Corbyn’s absurd claim to the contrary, there in fact remain scores of cases, including some dating back years, that have not been dealt with at all, while numerous notorious cases have been processed slowly and reluctantly and in some cases the figures involved have remained within the Party or have only been removed due to public pressure. Indeed Mr Corbyn himself has yet to be disciplined for his own record of antisemitism.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s monitoring of antisemitism in the Labour Party led to the Equality and Human Rights Commission launching a full statutory investigation on 28th May following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant. Our research has shown that cases such as that of Corby ally Peter Willsman are stalled and that Mr Corbyn’s office has repeatedly interfered in the disciplinary process.
Nevertheless, Mr Corbyn’s claim was defended today by Labour frontbencher Dawn Butler.
During the debate, Mr Corbyn was also asked about convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and at one point referred to the late Mr Epstein as ‘ep-shtein’, in what some considered to be an attempt to emphasise his Jewishness.
A spokesman for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “To our nation’s shame, we have been exposed to the spectacle of an antisemitic leader lying on television to millions about his Party’s record on dealing with antisemitism, while busily filling his Party’s top spots and coveted seats with those who will perpetuate antisemitism for another generation to come. In this dire situation for Jews, we call on all decent British people to stand together with us against antisemitism.
“Jeremy Corbyn’s risible attempt to deceive viewers about his handling of Labour’s antisemitism crisis was compounded by his bizarre and inconsistent pronunciation of the Jewish surname of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, referring to him at one point as ‘ep-shtein’. Mr Corbyn’s abhorrent record on Jews certainly raises questions as to whether the Labour leader was attempting to underscore Mr Epstein’s Jewishness.”
Over 57,000 people have now signed our petition denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite and declaring him “unfit to hold any public office.”
On 8th December, regardless of religion, race or politics, Jews and non-Jews alike will gather in Parliament Square to declare that they stand together against antisemitism in the face of Jew-hatred in politics and mounting anti-Jewish hate crime.
Mr Corbyn’s comments on antisemitism can be viewed below from 26:14.